Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Roast Chicken with sage/onion stuffing

I love a roast chicken! :)  It's pretty easy to make, and makes the house smell so delicious :)  Ate a lovely roast chicken made by my brother in law, who adds plenty of good butter, and lovingly bastes it with juices all throughout the cooking time. Thought I'd try and recreate the juiciness in my own roast chicken, and it was a success!

I also found sage, so thought i'd try making my own stuffing.  Not a fan of meat in stuffing, but thought a sage/onion/breadcrumb stuffing without adding the bacon/pork meat would be nice :) I'd never tried this, but would like to think that it'll absorb all the inner chicken juices, and keep everything nice and moist while adding the lovely flavour of sage to the chicken :)

Here goes:

One free range chicken (i got a 1.6kg one, make sure you keep a note of how much it weighs for cooking time!)
2 large onions
garlic, chopped
a bunch of sage, chopped finely
butter (i used salted President butter)
a couple of slices of white bread (stale or dried in the oven then whizzed into crumbs)
salt and pepper
1 free range egg
optional: a teaspoon of mustard (i used English), a couple of teaspoons of redcurrant jam
a dash of white wine

Preheat the oven to 180C and place the top rack right in the middle of the oven.  you can use the bottom rack right at the bottom to make veggies (or simply chuck them in the roasting pan with the chicken if you want)

To make the stuffing:
Dice one of the onions, and fry gently with the garlic in some butter until golden.  Once ready, add to a medium size mixing bowl.  Add sage, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, mustard and jam (if using), mix well, then add egg and mix again.

Chicken roasting:
Slice the other onion thinly, and place on the bottom of the dish you'll be using to roast the chicken.
Loosen the skin on the breast of the chicken, enough to be able to put your hand in.  place thin slices of butter in between the skin and the breast.  This will make for lovely moist white meat if cooked well (and by well i don't mean over done, but just the right time).
Stuff the chicken cavity with the mixture (don't over stuff, if theres any stuffing leftover, shape into balls and place them alongside the chicken, and place breast up into the dish. brush lightly with oil.
add a tiny dash of white wine to the dish.
Chuck in oven.
Cook for 20 minutes per 500 grams, plus 20 minutes.
It's important to baste the chicken every now and then.  Makes all the difference !
Every 20 minutes or so, baste the chicken by spooning the juices over it.

Once you think it's done, prick into the thickest part of the thigh, if the juices run clear, it's cooked.  If not, pop into the oven for another 10 minutes and try again.

Once it's done, take it out of the oven,  cover loosely with foil and rest for about 20-30 minutes.  You could ignore this step, and eat it right away, but apart from burning your tongue and finding it hard to carve, the meat will be dryer and less tender.  It really does make a huge difference, resting allows the meat to reabsorb juices into the centre, and relax. 

Mobile phone photo, the only one that got all the roast and stuffing :)


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